This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo.
Everyone seems to be setting up an online business these days. Whether you are looking to build a new career or just fancy giving a side hustle a go, the process is much the same. For this reason, entrepreneurs are looking for online business ideas and want to learn how to start an online business.
Online Business Ideas: How to Start an Online Business
Online Business Ideas Research
The process of how to start an online business must begin by doing research. This is the most important part of the whole process of getting online business ideas and shouldn’t be rushed. Take your time as you gather your knowledge when learning how to start an online business. In addition, leave no stone unturned.
Creating a business website and finding the best website builder
The next step, for how to start an online business is to build your business website. Hopefully, your research will have highlighted the areas where your website should excel. Your research should also give some good online business ideas for how to stand apart from the competition. Intuitive design is a big thing in 2018. Therefore, think carefully about what your visitors will be expecting and how you want them to navigate through the site. Then, you can start from scratch or set out to find the best website builder. For my side hustle, I used GoDaddy GoCentral Website Builder.
How to Start Online Business with a Marketing Strategy
Finally, you need to think about your marketing strategy. Again, you should have thought about this during your research stage while looking at what your competitors do. The more creative you can be while still appealing to your target audience and staying true to your branding, the better.
Start an Online Business Ideas – Start with Doing Your Own Research
Before you start an online business, you should always do some research. For a new business, this research should cover everything from online business ideas to tips on running the business once it is set up, as well as market research. It is important that you do all your research first – and crucially before you spend any money on your venture – because you don’t want to find out too late that your plan isn’t realistic.
How to Start Online Business – Online Business Courses
Lots of people feel their way into business. Although, if you are academically inclined, then you will probably benefit from taking a course on the subject of business management. With courses, you can have a safe environment to learn and experiment with your ideas as well as a knowledgeable teacher who can offer advice. There are online business courses to help you learn how to start a business and run it successfully. Have a look at SCU online to see if this could be a good route for you.
More Online Business Tips
The more thorough your research is, the better prepared you will be when you finally open your business. Ask other business owners for advice, go to networking events, look at your competition online and take every single opportunity you can to learn more. The devil is in the detail.
How to Write a Business Plan for Your New Online Business
Once you have done your research and you are happy that you know all there is to know at this stage, you should start writing a business plan. If this is just a side hustle for you, then you might work a little differently. Just having a rough plan could help you to make the most of the time you put in. If this is your new career, you need to plan carefully and exactly. You can’t take any risks with ‘maybe’s or ‘hopefully’s so do all the math and work through every problem you find.
Keep Learning – Starting an Online Business
One of the best pieces of advice you can ever receive is to never stop learning and this is doubly true in business. However much research you do to begin with, you must keep an open mind and continue to learn more about your online business and how the industry is developing. The tech industry is possibly the most extreme example of how an industry can radically change over a matter of months. However, all it takes is one company to have a bright idea and everything will change. Keeping up with the momentum has never been so important.
Build an Ecommerce Website for Your Online Business
An e-commerce website is the next stage of starting your online business. This is where you will need to make a lot of decisions. Therefore, make sure that you look back at your plan regularly to make sure you are staying on track. Remember: your website must reflect your brand values and be easy for any customer to navigate. If you worry that it isn’t easy enough, then ask your friends and family to give it a go. Next, see whether they can use their intuition alone to navigate the site.
If you are not familiar with designing websites, then you should probably consider an online course to get familiar. Or, more likely, employ someone to make your online business website for you. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have control over the site as you will still be overseeing what is going on. Instead, it will speed the process up. Unless you are building the business to sell the whole business on, you should employ someone to make you a smooth, easy-to-manipulate website. This is better than spending lots of your own time on it.
Once your site is built, you will need to know how to make changes by yourself. Editing text, adding blog posts and listing or removing products should all be very easy for you to do at home. This is the essence of your business so if you need to take some time learning how to do it properly, this will be time well spent.
How to Start Online Business with a Marketing Strategy
Finally, another key step in how to start an online business is the marketing strategy. Again, you should have thought about this during your research stage while looking at what your competitors do. The more creative you can be while still appealing to your target audience and staying true to your branding, the better.
Now that your business is ready to get started, you should implement a marketing strategy. Ideally, you will have thought about this in your business planning stage, but if you haven’t now is the time to get cracking.
Online Business Marketing Strategies – 2 Parts
Marketing strategies often come down to two things: identifying your audience and identifying your brand USP. The more closely these two aspects are linked, the easier it will be to create a successful marketing strategy. Then, it will be much more obvious why your target audience would want to buy from you than your competitors. However, you should also think about your pricing and the product itself.
Aim For Online Business Marketing Strategy
The aim of your marketing strategy should be to a) bring people to your website and then b) keep them on the site until they convert. There are lots of ecommerce marketing strategies you can use to do this. Although, be careful not to be too spammy with your approach. Pop-ups can be quite effective for capturing abandoned carts. Similarly, emails can be a good way to remind people of abandoned carts or getting people to revisit your site. However, you need to be careful not to do too much as this may be off-putting.
The more creative you can make your marketing strategy, the more likely you are to be noticed by the right people. For inspiration, have a look at what your competitors are doing by signing up to their mailing lists, looking at their website and following them on social media. This will give you an insight into what you could be doing and where you need to be more creative with your own strategy. You need to stand out from the pack so knowing what the pack is doing is a good place to start.
Online Business Ideas and Things to Think About To Start an Online Business
There is a lot to think about when you are starting your first online business. If you take your time and plan carefully, then you should have an easier online business set up. Though it is tempting to jump straight in, try to give yourself plenty of time to prepare first. This way, you will be able to deal with any problems as they inevitably arise.
It is important to take your time when following the steps on how to start an online business. Even if you are only setting up a side hustle, then you must take the time to really gather online business ideas. In addition, think about your marketing strategy. Then, draw in your target audience and try to achieve brand loyalty as soon as possible. Otherwise, you are making a lot of hard work for yourself. As you are starting an online business, you can afford to take a bit longer than others might. So, take your time and experiment with different ideas.